News & Runway

Nanette Lepore Fall 2014: A Complex Mix of References and Eras (Runway Review)


The Scene: Nanette Lepore was all about the online scene as her show approached. She was live tweeting for @PopSugarFashion all morning and she was asking fans to use the hashtag #HandCraftedinNY when talking about the show. "It's an interweaving of different embellishments and embroideries from all over. I just sort of picked my favorites and brought them back to New York City to be handcrafted here," Lepore told

The Inspiration: "My inspiration for this collection came from the Interwoven Globe Show at the MET," Lepore tweeted pre-show.

The Look: It's hard to say what I expected from the Nanette Lepore show, perhaps some of the easy relaxed silhouettes and casual-cool touches from the past few seasons. But I was pleasantly surprised with what seemed like a new, more refined Nanette Lepore woman. It definitely followed what Lepore said last season about dressing women for work again. It was a more staid collection, grounding compared to lots of wacky layering and envelope-pushing styles of fashion week so far. These were clothes your best dressed real life friend or most fashionable woman in the office might wear. Proportions had a 40s feel with a high natural waist and mid-calf skirt lengths. In shades of maroon, purple, grey and one hot pink, the clothes were kept forward thinking with modern cuts. There were a few unexpected grunge elements tweaked expertly to fit the rest of the look — a streamlined tunic with a slouchy cardigan, a boxy plum tweed coat over a peasant dress. But everything was rendered elegant and chic.

Best looks included strong, feminine and fashionable suiting, and lots of beautiful separates that would go from office to weekend. My most coveted piece is a gray slouchy cardigan with artisanal silver beading down the front. It led into a similar top and finally the flannel finale dress. It featured an asymmetric mid-calf hem and the same assortment of beaded embellishments creating geometric shapes down panels in the front. 

The Accessories: There were lots of mary janes with ankle socks, booties (one with a fur mohawk!) and crossbody bags — again fit for a working woman. "I imagined this grey flannel shoe for my show, but I couldn’t find the right color," Lepore tweeted. "My print designer sanded the original fabric until it was the perfect match." This seems like it could apply metaphorically as well — Lepore picked up a lot of elements and references from different places and just whittled them down to one congruent collection.

The Beauty: The beauty look was well put together but not overdone. Stila did the makeup which featured a lined eye and dark pink lip. Braids were woven across the forehead to give hair the silhouette of a bang.

The Takeaway: The beaded pieces had almost an art deco feel, adding to the complex mix of references and eras evident in the collection. It seems as if Lepore cherry-picked elements from all over the place — a strategy that is rarely successful let alone achieved as elegantly and with as much cohesion as for this Fall 2014 show.

images: IMAXtree

more Fashion Week articles on